Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sometimes you just need to go home

Life in California can be crazy and hectic. Sometimes it seems that no matter how hard you work towards your goals, you don't seem to make any gains. When this happens it can be very difficult to remain positive. These are the moments when it may be best to just get away, separating yourself from that hustle and bustle to rejuvenate your mind and body. Sometimes, you just need to go home.

To say that this last three month period at my job was a little busy, would be an understatement. Please understand, I am not complaining, my pocket book really enjoyed the extra hours; however, it didn't leave a lot of time for other activities, hobbies, auditions or further development for my blog.

Being so new to my professional career as a Sign Language Interpreter finding additional jobs anywhere let alone in an area I would love to live, is a difficult thing. Granted I could continue to work in Orange County, but commute from the LA area; however, lack of money and a fear of failure and the unknown are very daunting obstacles to overcome.

Up until recently I have felt like my life was remaining pretty stagnant. Sure, I had just begun Interpreting and was doing well at it; however after being denied a promotion/raise, I felt I wasn’t doing as well I should have been doing.

All the time and energy I was using thinking about work was time away from other writing and acting projects. It has honestly been a long time since I have been on a film set, that fact is pretty worrisome. Also frustrating was starting new writing projects with Caleb and Michael and not being able to finish them because their schedule suddenly gets busy. I’m not saying my frustration is with them or that they are somehow responsible for the state of my acting career. I guess my frustration stems from my conflicted feelings in that I am so happy and proud of them for getting amazing work, yet at the same time I can’t help but feel a little jealous.

All of these feelings and stress have caused me to wonder if I needed to give up on one career in order to succeed in another. I also was feeling like my “love relationship” with life in California was turning somewhat sour, and I began looking into Interpreting work in multiple different states.

These reasons and more are the reason I decided to spend over a month staying in Tucson Arizona with my Mother and her friend. So far being away from California and the Hollywood machine seems to have been really good for me in gaining a different perspective.

Just because I didn’t get my promotion last year doesn’t mean I can’t get one this year, and certainly doesn’t mean that I am not doing the things I need to be doing in order to qualify for a promotion. Just because I have had an extended absence from a film set, doesn’t mean I will never be on one again. Just because my friends are busy, doesn’t mean I can write a script or outline myself, and it definitely doesn’t mean that a script will never be finished.

If anything these things that may have seemed like insurmountable obstacles were things that have been benefiting me. In fact concentrating more on my interpreting career and further developing those skills now will, in the long run, benefit my acting career in multiple ways. Better skills equals more pay, more pay equals more saving, more savings equals decreased financial worries, which MAY equal more time to concentrate on acting and writing. This may seem a little far fetched; however, this thought process has been the refreshing change of perspective, or should I say reminder, that I have been looking for.

If life is throwing obstacles in your path, sometimes you need to take one step back in order to take multiple forward. While my stay in Arizona is not over yet, I will be flying home next week, I do feel like my step back has rejuvenated my mind and body preparing me to jump right back into life in California and everything it has to throw at me. Absence can make the heart grow fonder.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

I'm Too Cheap for HBO

Recently someone told me that my blog, Hollywood Nobody, slightly resembles a popular television show on HBO called Entourage. I do not subscribe to HBO, nor have I ever seen an episode of Entourage on Netflix, so I have no clue whether or not it is true that,

"Hollywood Nobody is Entourage before they made it big..."

This Comparison got me thinking about Entourages and the importance they play, not only in LA, but all over the world. It also caused me to realize, I have never officially introduced you all to my entourage!

An Entourage is a group of friends or co-workers one surrounds themselves with for support. An Entourage can consist a few people or hundreds. The general LA/Hollywood area can be a brutal wake up call for many people, so it makes sense that an entourage be an important part of our daily lives. Entourages are your support group when things get tuff; entourages are your family when your blood relatives live far away; and entourages are your creative partners/outlets when you have an idea for the next big thing!

My Hollywood Entourage consists of two major players, Michael Coulombe and Caleb Monteforte*, with a few guest characters thrown in for flavor.

Michael Coulombe is a Writer, Script Supervisor (Scripty), and Producer living in the Burbank area. I met Michael around two years ago on the set of Nick Wauters short film, Neurotica. Michael was working as a Scripty and I was cast as the incredibly energetic "Tweaker Boy." At first Michael thought I was an uber bitch with a heart made of ice, but for some reason he changed his mind...Funny how accurate first impressions are.

Michael is currently sitting beside me trying to make sure I add that he introduced me to John Stallings, "See I know famous gay celebutants!!!" Michael recently finished producing his second annual Big Bear Horror Film Festival, and just booked Scripty work on the feature film, Sinbad: The Fifth Voyage with star, Patrick Stewart. It's cool enough he's working with Patrick Stewart, but when he told me it was a SINBAD film, I started jumping up and down like a little school girl.

Caleb Monteforte is a Writer, Director, Producer, and Talent Manager living near Glendale, CA. I met Caleb around three or four years ago while waiting tables in Orange County, CA. One night after a long hard night of waiting tables, Caleb invited me out to drinks. At first I was hesitant because I wasn't sure why this straight guy was asking me to join him for drinks. Also, at that time I didn't feel like I was able to connect with the people I worked with outside of the restaurant. I initially declined his invitations to hang out; however, one night I finally did accept; Caleb and I have been friends ever since. After coming out, I never thought I would have a straight BFF; I'm sure Caleb never thought he would have a gay on either. Many people don't really understand our friendship, but that's their deal.

Caleb's sister, Vanessa Monteforte*, was a child actress on a very popular television show in the 90's, and as a result Caleb grew up in the business and has a keen understanding of the multiple intricacies involved in show biz. Caleb could take advantage of the name that Vanessa has to make more connections and get work; however, he wants to make a name for himself, and succeed on his own merit, not on the fame his sister has already achieved.

Caleb is currently wrapping a short film he produced and is preparing to produce a feature. In addition to these two projects, Caleb keeps himself busy by writing his own screen plays and managing a band with a well known front man.

Entourages serve a very important function in our daily lives, not only here in LA, but all over the world. Entourages can come in all shapes and sizes. For the time being, I prefer mine to be a smaller group of close friends supporting each other as we try garner happiness and success in LA LA LAND. Are we HBO's Entourage before they "made it?" I have no clue, I'm too cheap for HBO.

*Names have been changed to protect the guilty! ;-)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Appearances: Puttin on the Ritz

From the moment Michael and I entered the Starbucks off Santa Monica Blvd in West Hollywood, I could feel their eyes descend upon us, like a sparkly teen vampire seeing his first jugular. Immediately Michael's eyes scanned the room looking for a familiar face to take comfort in...He found three within seconds; I was not so lucky.

We had entered their territory and it was obvious we did not belong. Correction, it was obvious, I did not belong. Michael fit in much more easily amongst the gorgeous self involved natives as he recently started a diet where he avoided all foods.

After ordering my iced coffee beverage, I sat a long wooden table and set my MacBook Pro to begin work on a new entry for my blog. I was thinking that by coming to LA I would be able to break through my writers block that has been plaguing me for months. Twenty minutes later, no such luck. Michael was no help as he was still gossiping like a New York socialite on the Upper East Side with his trendy gay Hollywood friends in their trendy gay clothes, with their trendy gay cell phones, sun glasses, lap tops, and frappuccinos.

Looking around the room I started to notice all the young Gays working on their own blogs and film/tv scripts. It wasn't just Michael's friends, it was everyone in the room...it was me!! There I sat in my semi trendy clothes that took me an hour to pick out with my semi trendy cell phone and my uber trendy computer when I realized just how reliant we all are on appearances. Honestly, I know this all before, but somehow saying that doesn't make for as entertaining of a blog, so for the time being, lets pretend I was completely oblivious to this well known fact.

Looking back at the last month, I saw that the Gays at Starbucks weren't the only ones guilty of "Putting on the Ritz" Around a year ago my Mother came to visit my Landlord/Uncle his on again off again girlfriend and myself and the entire time I felt like my Uncle and his girlfriend were putting on a show for her and I unfortunately was the unwilling re-occuring guest star.

My Landlord/Uncle and his Girlfriend had been going through a very rough patch in their relationship and needless to say they were very off again; that is, until my Mother showed up. The moment guests arrived the lights were dimmed the curtain lifted. It was as if the last few months of their relationship had never happened.

People move out to California for so many reasons whether it be for college, grad school or a business opportunity, it seems like we all have one thing in common...We act. Some of us are paid for our performances and achieve a level of success, whereas most of our talents for the dramatic arts are never seen or acknowledged. Each of our characters certainly have different motivations for acting; some of us act because it's a passion, some of us act because we want people to think a certain things about us, and some of us act to mask the pain that hides just below the surface.

"If you're blue and you don't know
where to go to why don't you go
where fashion sits
Puttin' on the Ritz."
-TACO 1982